Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Childish and Cruel Government Knows Best Fun and Games

Politics sucks. Politicians in our republican form of representative government are elected to serve the best interests of We the People. They could do that by making good decisions on our behalf --- not theirs. Not much of that going on these days, especially when it comes to how they spend our money.

Maybe President Obama should spend some more of his time governing and less running around the country in campaign mode making speeches about the devastating impact of the sequester. I'm not defending the Republicans, not at all, but he is the only President we have, aka CEO of this great country. He should cut the crap and try to act accordingly.

But back to the choices we make about the money we have available to spend. The politicians are spending our hard earned money (even some of the fat cats earned their money by working hard), and hopefully with good intentions as they do so. Because to us the money they're spending once was our MOM. However, to them apparently it's just plain OPM to do with as they please. It's their fun and games money, I guess.

Here's the difference between MOM and OPM.

For example, when we as individuals have $10 of MOM available to spend and want to buy two separate things which each cost $10, we have to choose among the two alternatives. That's simple economics and simple common sense. Economists refer to what we didn't buy as the opportunity cost of what we did buy.

As a result, we prioritize due to limited funds and choose to buy item A and not item B. We do what's best for us with the money we have to spend. That's MOM.

But not our games playing government knows best gang of OPMers. They choose how to spend the money by playing politics and trying to score points against their political opponents. They don't bother to prioritize as representatives of We the People. But they do enjoy their political fun and games at our expense.

So the following story is just one more simple example as to why politics sucks and why the government knows best gang can't be trusted with any more of our money than is absolutely essential to carry out their limited public service responsibilities. And fun wine tasting seminars and junkets aren't among those limited responsibilities.

#Sequester This is subtitled 'Meat inspectors have to go, but fine wines are still on the USDA menu:'

"In its bid to make the sequester as painful as possible, the White House announced Tuesday that it is canceling all visitor tours of the White House "during the popular Spring touring season." This fits President Obama's political strategy to punish the eighth graders visiting from Illinois instead of, say, the employees of the Agriculture Department who will attend a California conference sipping "exceptional local wines" and sampling "tasty dishes" prepared by "special guest chefs."

Yes, even as the White House warns that the modest automatic spending cuts will force the furlough of meat inspectors, two divisions of the Agriculture Department will underwrite the 26th California Small Farm Conference in Fresno next week.

The event will feature USDA speakers, field trips, a banquet and a tasting reception, according to the conference website. Conference organizers promise the tasting will be a "mouthwatering event" featuring "fine wines and exceptional micro-brews paired with seasonally driven culinary delicacies." How can we sign up? . . .

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn noted in a Tuesday letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that while these conferences may be "fun," or "even educational," they reveal an agency unable to set priorities that serve taxpayers as opposed to its own bureaucratic interests. The agency fans public fear about salmonella outbreaks even as its public servants serve themselves haute cuisine.

Mr. Coburn and others are providing Americans with a window on this and other fiscal contradictions at #SequesterThis on Twitter, and we recommend that readers take a look. Then decide if the federal government is so wonderfully efficient that it can only cut spending that most hurts the public."

Summing Up

My guess is that this White House led sequester prioritization farce is going to provide We the People with a great education in how little the government gurus in charge bother to consider our best interests when they spend our money. 

They're too interested in rewarding themselves, making speeches, scoring political points, securing 'middle class' votes and demonizing their political opponents. In the name of needing more MOM for them to convert to OPM and spend as they so choose, of course.

Well, it's worked so far, so why not?

Eliminating the expense of White House tours would be ok with me if that were to be the standard for spending taxpayer money in the future.

In other words, government officials should commit to a "smell test" benchmark which sets as the spending standard the value of the White House tours to We the People.

Using the cost of White House tours as the standard, no government spending which isn't at least as beneficial to the public as White House tours should continue until the budget is balanced.

Watch out, Big Bird.

Thanks. Bob.

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